St. Paul

Creative Thinkers

Rapping in Vacant Lots, Repping the Neighborhood

In 2013, Springboard for the Arts launched the Artist Organizers (AOs) pilot program as part of Irrigate’s artist-led community development. Supported by the Surdna Foundation, the pilot planted...


Molly Van Avery

Collaboration at the Heart of Real Estate and Community Development

In 2013, Springboard for the Arts launched the Artist Organizers (AOs) pilot program as part of Irrigate’s artist-led community development. Supported by the Surdna Foundation, the pilot planted...


Jen Cole

Sharing, Building, Leading

What does the passion for local art look like on a national scale? What if the sharing economy valued sharing?          What can we do to connect people to resources that support their...


The People's Creative Toolkit

Your story has to be told, and a lot of people have to listen. But how do you tell your story to get them to listen? And who is “them,” anyway? These are questions we have to address with every...


PhotoVoice

Photography & Participation: How Photovoice Engages and Rebuilds Communities

What is the role of photography in community engagement? How can increased engagement lead to effective community rebuilding and development? Photovoice, a participatory research process, provides...


Michele Anderson

From the Ground Up - Shaping the New Rural Narrative Through Arts and Community

Even if you have not spent a lot of time in a rural community, you’re probably familiar with at least one of the common narratives of small town America. One paints a bleak landscape of “brain...


Ashley Hanson and Andrew Gaylord

PlaceBase Productions builds rural communities through participatory theatre

Ashley Hanson grew up spending much of her childhood in Aitkin, a small town of fewer than 2,000 people in northern Minnesota. Like many young people who grow up in small towns, she was dying to get...


Liz Miller

Liz Miller creates installations that explore the beauty in devastation

Liz Miller is a Minnesota-based artist who describes herself thusly: “I’m an artist who is currently fascinated with weapons, invasive species, and pattern/ornament/decoration. My...


Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands

TU Dance makes modern dance accessible to a diverse community in St. Paul

TU Dance, a professional dance company and dance education center located in St. Paul, was founded by Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands in 2004. Initially called Space TU Embrace, the organization...


Laura Zabel

Welcome to Creative Exchange (again)

“I believe in the magic of storytelling, not only for teller but also the listener,” says agrarian artist Nikiko Masumoto, who lives and works in California’s Central Valley....


Joan Vorderbruggen

Joan Vorderbruggen is the one-woman powerhouse behind Minneapolis's Made Here

There’s really no better word that can be used to accurately describe Joan Vorderbruggen than “dynamic.” Vorderbruggen has a dynamic personality that she is able to use to lead...


Jun-Li Wang leads an Observation Tour

Artists as community leaders

What a journey! Three years ago, Springboard for the Arts launched Irrigate, a creative placemaking project in partnership with the City of Saint Paul and the Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support...


IRRIGATE: Artist-Led Community Development

Cities and neighborhoods need creative thinking. Particularly when communities are facing big challenges, artists see opportunity in challenge, beauty in chaos and have practical skills and creative...


Amanda Lovelee

St. Paul City Artist Amanda Lovelee inspires joyful connections

Amanda Lovelee’s life and work have taken her all over the world. A native of upstate New York, she graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, has traveled extensively...


Asia Ward

Artist/educator Asia Ward: Creating the unexpected through a singular blend of art and science

Bre McGee Science, magic, memory and art: These are among the tools artist and educator Asia Ward brings to her work. She’s a longtime developer of educational experiences for the Learning...


Ta-coumba Aiken

Public art as social activism: Ta-coumba Aiken creates art that heals the heart and soul

Ta-coumba Aiken grew up in Evanston, Illinois during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement, the rise of the Black Panther Party and Black Power, and the prominence of the NAACP’s civil rights...


Kyle Tran Myhre

The media is the message: Guante uses hip hop culture to educate and engage the community

Canadian philosopher and communication theorist Marshall McLuhan coined the expression “The medium is the message” in 1964 (long before the creation of the Internet), implying that...


Oskar Ly

Oskar Ly's work reconciles her identities as a Second-Generation-Hmong-Queer-Asian-Woman-Artist

There are roughly 30,000 Hmong-Americans living in Saint Paul, Minnesota today, more than any other city in the country. The Twin Cities Metro area has a Hmong population of 64,000. While those may...


YOUR IDEA HERE: A Toolkit for Unlocking the Community Potential of Vacant Storefronts

Empty storefront retail space is an issue facing many neighborhoods across the country, and once that often requires collaboration between neighborhood councils, commercial property owners and...